Castlemont Elementary School

District News

Updated Thu, Nov 19th

Due to a stark increase in COVID-19 cases, Santa Clara County has moved back two tiers to the most restrictive Purple or Widespread Tier as defined in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This development could delay the January launch of our district’s plans to gradually bring students back to school for in-person instruction. 

The Governor surprised state and local planners on November 16th when he announced his “emergency brake” that moved Santa Clara County from the Orange to the Purple tier order effective November 17th.

The district had been planning to begin Phase Two of its Reopening Plan on January 4th. If the county is still in the Purple Tier when the December Winter Break begins, that date will need to change, according to Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.

The Blueprint specifies that schools that have not reopened for in-person instruction must wait to reopen until the county has been in the Substantial (Red) Tier for 14 days. Programs already in operation may continue, such as the district’s Learning Labs, CampbellCare and preschools.

“Our first priority is the health and safety of our students and staff,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “We encourage everyone to help get the virus back under control so schools—and other parts of our community—can reopen. Wear a face covering, wash hands frequently, practice physical distancing, and limit social gatherings to your own household.

The county is scheduled to remain in the Purple Tier through December 8th. Depending on how local trends look, the District will determine whether to delay the January 4th reopening date or not.

See a video breifing from the Superintendent on our Youtube channel. Please also watch for updates on the changing status of school reopening via email and in our weekly e-newsletters

See the November 17, 2020 Executive Summary for an overview of the changes. Details about how the Governor’s order will impact our county as a whole are on the Santa Clara County Public Health Department website.

Updated Wed, Nov 18th

Our high-quality infant, toddler, and preschool programs prepare children for successful educational journeys. Both fee-based and subsidized programs are available, year round, with part-time or full-time options.

  • Half-day programs opening in January at Blackford and Castlemont schools.
  • Full-day state preschool and tuition-based program openings at Campbell School of Innovation (CSI) in December.  

For more details, visit our preschool web page or phone (408) 364-4200 x4180.

Updated Tue, Nov 17th

The third episode of Campbell Union School District's Family Support Vlog is available now. This November 2020 installment includes Technology Tips, Resources for Emotional Support and Counseling, and more.

Closed captions available in English and Spanish. Choose YouTube's "cc" icon and select language.

Updated Tue, Nov 24th

During our district’s nearly 100 years of providing an education beyond the expected to our students, we have faced many challenges, but none as challenging as the school closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fortunately, we have not had to face those challenges alone. Since March, agencies and individuals have poured in support for our students and families—everything from school and safety supplies, counseling and health services, internet hot spots and computer devices, educational kits, and so much more. The dollar value is in the hundreds of thousands. The positive impact on the health and learning needs of our students and families is priceless. 

Our “Thank You” video provides a glimpse into the many, many people and groups who have been “friends in deed” during the pandemic. Many of them have been our partners for years and gave additional support over the past eight months. The video is on our Youtube channel: campbellusd

Updated Tue, Nov 24th

Our Wonder Wednesday program is designed to spark students’ curiosity by engaging them in a wide variety of topics. Each episode will explore a new wonder in our community.

Our premiere is on Wed., December 2, from 1:00 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. It will focus on the Hour of Code and the fun found in coding. An expert from Google’s CS First Team will guide students in a free and fun computational thinking activity. Families are welcome to tune it together, but it is not required. 

For more details, and to see upcoming topics, visit our Wonder Wednesday website

Updated Tue, Nov 24th

Every Saturday now through Dec.12 (except Nov. 28th)
9 AM – 4 PM
Santa Clara Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd, San Jose.

* Hosted by County of Santa Clara; Free regardless of health insurance or immigration status

Is flu vaccine safe? 

Flu vaccines are made using strict safety and production measures. Millions of people have safely received flu vaccines for decades. Flu shots and nasal spray flu vaccines are both options for vaccination. Different types of flu vaccines are licensed for different ages. Each person should get one that is appropriate for their age. CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend an annual flu vaccine for all children 6 months and older.

What are the benefits of getting a flu vaccine?

• A flu vaccine can keep you and yourchild from getting sick.
• Flu vaccines can keep your child frombeing hospitalized from flu.
• Flu vaccine can prevent your child fromdying from flu.
• Flu vaccination also may make yourillness milder if you do get sick.
• Getting yourself and your childvaccinated also can protect others

Updated Thu, Oct 29th

As students, teachers, and families work through the challenges of distance learning, some students are having an especially tough time academically and social-emotionally. This month, teachers at two schools—Sherman Oaks and Campbell School of Innovation—led the effort to provide in-person instruction to these vulnerable students prior to the district’s official transition to Phase 2.  

“In the spirit of equity, we must find ways to meet the needs of these students now,” said Marco Chavez, Principal of Sherman Oaks Dual Immersion School. 


Teacher Jeni Marty and aides work with
Sherman Oaks students

The school is rising to the challenge with its Specialized Learning Lab. Four weeks ago, Resource Specialist Jeni Marty launched the custom on-campus learning lab, using the District’s general Learning Labs as a model. Two groups of 10 Sherman Oaks students take part.

At Campbell School of Innovation (CSI), two Inclusion Specialists launched similar on-campus classes two weeks ago. Laura Hamer and Megan Noriega work with 14 students in the learning center. CSI Principal Kami Thordarson noted the benefits for the students and the teachers. 

teacher showing book to student
Teacher Megan Noriega discusses a lesson
with a student.

“Having teachers and instructional aides there with the students removes barriers that our struggling students were having with distance learning,” she said. “In a classroom, a teacher gets immediate feedback just by scanning the room. Getting that feedback through Zoom lessons is more challenging and takes much more time. This extra support helps the students and their teachers.” 

Success is clear for both schools. Students are more engaged, they are completing more assignments, and more teachers are creating ways to offer safe, in-person learning for their students.

student working on math problem with help from teacher
Student works on a math problem
with help from an aide.

This week at Sherman Oaks, fourth-grade teachers started a twice-a-week reading and English Language Development session. Also, Chavez and Assistant Principal Pablo Viramontes launched Español con los directores, a twice-weekly all-Spanish language session designed for students in grades TK-1st.

“We are very intentional about following the safety protocols and about identifying the students who need this kind of intervention,” said Chavez, noting that not everyone feels ready to be on campus.

“Offering these labs feels like we’re moving in the right direction,” said Assistant Principal Viramontes. “It’s a place to start. We plan; we adjust; we move forward.”

“These educators are providing an essential step forward in our plan to bring students back to campus gradually,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “We continue in our commitment to meet all of our students’ needs and educate them to their highest potential.”

Updated Tue, Oct 20th

student peeks around her paper of schoolworkMore students can access the marvels of Mystery Science curriculum now, thanks to the Assistance League Los Gatos-Saratoga.

Over 30 ALLGS volunteers created 34,000 individual student STEM Kits—compiling about 250,000 little pieces—for Campbell Union School District’s elementary students to use in distance learning this fall. 

Now, each Kindergarten through 5th grade student can perform five science experiments at home after a distance learning science lesson from their teacher. Topics range from leaves changing color, difference in bird beaks, to friction and pattern of motion and structure and function of the human eye. 

two students wearing masks and showing new kit bagsThe STEM Kits arrived at schools in early October, along with 1,500 volunteer-assembled Art/Writing Kits. The kits, made for grades Kindergarten through 2nd, include a writing journal, a book about Why We Stay Home during COVID-19, and fun art supplies that will support the District’s Every Child a Reader by Third Grade initiative. 

Producing tens of thousands of student kits was a major shift in program delivery for the Assistance League, whose volunteers would normally present student programs live in a classroom setting. 

"We are so grateful to the Assistance League for their support," said District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. "Providing students with hands-on science kits is so beneficial, particularly now with so much of students' learning happening on the screen."

The Assistance League of Los Gatos-Saratoga mission is to Transform Lives and Support our Local Communities in need. For more information about the group’s philanthropic programs, please go to www.allgs.org.

Updated Thu, Oct 8th

flyer image with detailsThe County of Santa Clara offers a Free Flu Vaccine Fair (for ages 3 years and up) -- Free regardless of health insurance or immigration status. Open every Saturday, 9 AM – 4 PM, from Sept.19-Dec.12 (none on Nov. 28th) at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd, San Jose, CA 95111

El Condado de Santa Clara ofrece una Feria de Vacunas contra la Gripe gratis (para mayores de 3 años) - Gratis sin importar su seguro médico o estatus migratorio. Abierto todos los sábados, de 9 a. M. A 4 p. M., Del 19 de septiembre al 12 de diciembre (ninguno el 28 de noviembre) en el recinto ferial de Santa Clara, 344 Tully Rd, San José, CA 95111

Updated Tue, Oct 6th

On Friday, October 1st, Superintendent Viramontez emailed a video update to all families about the district's plans for moving to Phase 2 of the School Reopening Plan.

The video is on our district's YouTube channel (Campbellusd). Closed captions in English and Spanish are available by using the YouTube captioning tools.

Please visit our COVID-19 resources web page to view the full School Reopening Plan, which includes details about all safety protocols for returning to on-campus learning. The web page includes links to other resources, including parent resources and guidebooks from Santa Clara County Public Health in multiple languages.

We will share more information at the October 15 Governing Board meeting and continue to provide information as we go forward.